Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

King's Pote 85 (King's College Library, King's College Cambridge)

Pote Collection


Summary of Contents: 1 copy of Tīmūr-nāmah.

Note concerning author: Hātifī was a nephew of the celebrated poet Jāmī.

Language(s): Persian

Colophon details: Date: Undated Scribe: Anonymous.

Colophon further notes: Not dated but the artwork and the hand suggest early 10th/16th.

Note concerning manuscript: A royal illustrated manuscript of a history of Timur in verse.


Catalogue of the Persian manuscripts in the British Museum (3 vols.) C. Rieu 1879-1883 pp.653 [BL Add. 7780]
Catalogue of the Persian, Turkish, Hindûstânî, and Pushtû Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library E. Sachau and H. Ethé 1889 col.87, no. 153 [Bodl. Ouseley 263]
Persian Literature: a bio-bibliographical survey C. A. Storey 1927–39 I.1 p.289
Mughals in India: a bibliographical survey. Vol. 1. Manuscripts D.N. Marshall 1962 p.182

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 165 folios.
Dimensions (leaf): 24.3 × 15.8 cm.
Dimensions (written): 15.3 × 8 cm.
Foliation: Foliated.


Corrosion due to green ruling. Some repairs to corrosion damage.


15 lines per page.

Ruled in blue, dark red, green, gold and lapis. 2 columns (verse). Rubrication in dark red.


Script: nastaʿlīq. Quality: Good. Scribe: Anonymous.


F.1v: a blue and gold illuminated sarlauh. . The manuscript is illustrated as described next. F.22: a painting almost entirely smeared out but pieces of gold and foliage remain. F.36: the figures have been smeared out (subject: an enthronement with two lovers conversing). F.72v: a battle scene (?), mostly smeared out. F.96v: a battle scene, mostly smeared out (gold remnants). F.103: five figures, mostly smeared out, but gold and green foliage remains. F.160: an enthronement with figures intact, not smeared out (parts are in gold). In notes held in the King's Archive (attached to a letter dated 16.4.1951), Basil Robinson says of this (?) that it: "represents Qaysar (Caesar!) before Timur" adding that it "is in a provincial style of about 1540.".


F.1r: the seal of Polier (1181) and three others, one Sulṭān Muḥammad ʿĀdil Shāh of Bijapur (r. 1627-1657) - Dārad az luṭf-i ḥaqq sar afrāzī Sulṭān Muḥammad Shāh ghāzī- . For examples of the same royal seal in the British Library (IO Islamic 149 and Bijapur 207) see http://blogs.bl.uk/asian-and-african/2016/11/nasir-shahs-book-of-delights.html. Two other seals of ʿAbd al-Raḥīm Khān [see also King's 155] and of Mukhtār Khān. F.1r: a note indicates the manuscript originally had a black binding with gold inlaid turanj and corner pieces.

Collation notes in pieces of paper attached to margins.


Reddish brown leather, European style. Plain paper doublures. Dimensions: 24.8 × 16 × 3.2 cm. Boxed. Polier's number: 193.


Origin: Undated.

Provenance and Acquisition

The "Pote Collection" arrived in England from India in 1790 and was divided between the Colleges of Eton and King's, Cambridge, with the first half alphabetically going to King's. Both halves of the collection are now housed in Cambridge University Library on permanent loan. Most if not all of the manuscripts had previously been owned by Colonel Antoine-Louis Henri Polier (1741–1795).

Gift of Edward Ephraim Pote (d.1832) in 1788.

Record Sources


All manuscripts of the Pote Collection are on permanent loan at Cambridge University Library. Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures consult Cambridge University Library. Contact near_eastern@lib.cam.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript

Funding of Cataloguing

King's College Cambridge


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